Press Release

Kelly Mendez (415) 379-5133
kmendez@calacademy.org

The California Academy of Sciences presents
Brilliant!Science: Incredible Ocean Festival


From March 15-30, dynamic series of lectures and photography workshops, interactive programs for families, special NightLife event, and more highlight coastal marine biodiversity

SAN FRANCISCO (February 21, 2014) – For millennia, humans have traveled across the surface of our planet’s oceans. And yet, even today, relatively little is known about the world under the waves. Our oceans are a vital source of food for both humans and other animals, and the waters along California’s coast are particularly rich in life. Brilliant!Science: Incredible Ocean, a dynamic festival presented by the California Academy of Sciences from March 15-30, 2014, highlights the diversity of life found along the California Coast while educating and engaging the public through active science and exploration. Join us as we explore the intertidal zones, rocky reefs, and the Farallon Islands to learn what makes this region so productive — and how we can work to protect this vital resource. 


Festival programming includes lectures and informal talks, photography workshops, an ocean-themed NightLife event for adults 21+, a weekend of family fun, and more. See a full schedule of festival programming below or by visiting www.calacademy.org/brilliantscience for event tickets and details. 

 

Eye-Opening Science: The Changing Oceans (3-part series)
Ocean Acidification
Saturday, March 15 from 9:00–11:00 am | Academy Boardroom
Speakers: Dr. Geerat Vermeij, Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, UC Davis; Dr. Jonathon Stillman, Associate Professor, San Francisco State University; Dr. Peter Roopnarine, Curator, California Academy of Sciences

In addition to global climate change, one of the consequences of increasing the amount of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere is that this gas is dissolving into the world’s oceans, creating ever more acidic conditions. Many organisms that use calcium carbonate minerals to build skeletons and shells are vulnerable to this acidification, and changing oceans are already affecting the oyster and fisheries industries. What is the current state of the world’s oceans? How serious is ocean acidification likely to become? How will it affect marine food webs and our ability to derive sustainable seafood from the oceans? Moderated by Dr. Terry Gosliner, Dean of Science and Research Collections, California Academy of Sciences.
Tickets: Adults $35; Members and Seniors $25. Series tickets: Adults $90; Members and Seniors $70. Coffee, tea, and pastries provided. Ticket does not include museum admission. Please enter through the Academy’s business entrance at 75 Nancy Pelosi Drive.

 

Under the Sea NightLife (ages 21+)
Thursday, March 20 from 6:00–10:00 pm
Music by DJ Eric Sharp

Go below the surface for this underwater edition of NightLife, part of the Academy’s Brilliant!Science: Incredible Ocean festival. Meet the Academy’s team of scuba diving experts, and learn what it takes to study and explore the incredible ecosystems underneath the waves. Make your own crafty deep sea creatures with the help of SCRAP SF, and view displays of stunning underwater photography. Sample sustainably-prepared seafood snacks from the Academy Café and Moss Room restaurant. Then, suit up like the pros while trying on scuba gear, meet coral advocates from Reef Check, and pick up tips on how to safely take the plunge from Stockton Fire Department’s dive safety team. In African Hall, catch a screening of The Life Aquatic (Steve Zissou costumes encouraged!), then check out the Academy’s own aquatic explorers during special dive shows happening throughout the aquarium. At the Project Lab, meet Ichthyology collection manager Dave Catania as he shows off some of the Academy’s most prized (and peculiar) fish specimens.
Tickets: Adults $12; Members $10. For adults 21+ with valid ID. Tickets available online at www.calacademy.org/nightlife or at the door.

 

Eye-Opening Science: The Changing Oceans (3-part series)
California’s Network of Marine Protected Areas
Saturday, March 22 from 9:00–11:00 am
Speakers: Dr. Peter Raimondi, Professor of Geology, UC Santa Cruz; Dr. Rebecca Johnson, Citizen Science Research Coordinator, California Academy of Sciences; Dr. Peter Roopnarine, Curator, California Academy of Sciences

California’s coastal waters are home to one of the four richest temperate marine biotas in the world. As impacts of human activity have placed increasing pressure on local marine ecosystems, California has pioneered the establishment of marine protected areas. These protected areas have recently been expanded to further ensure the preservation of marine biodiversity. How was that process developed? How do these protections support marine food webs and the continued health of these areas? How are we monitoring California’s marine biodiversity? And which future threats are of greatest concern? Moderated by Dr. Terry Gosliner, Dean of Science and Research Collections, California Academy of Sciences.
Tickets: Adults $35; Members and Seniors $25. Series tickets: Adults $90; Members and Seniors $70. Coffee, tea, and pastries provided. Ticket does not include museum admission. Please enter through the business entrance at 75 Nancy Pelosi Drive.

 

Family Festival: Incredible Ocean
Saturday and Sunday, March 22 & 23 from 10:00 am-4:00 pm | Piazza

Explore the incredible ocean through informative, interactive programs for the whole family. Learn how understanding food webs helps local efforts to protect marine life through family-friendly activities from Aquarium of the Bay, Coral Reef Alliance, Friends of the Fitzgerald Marine Reserve, Marine Mammal Center, Marine Science Institute, SF Bay American Cetacean Society, The Watershed Project, and Teen Advocates for Science Communication; watch a sustainable-seafood demo by Academy chef William Pilz; catch a water-themed performance by the USF Dance Generators; join Friends of the SF Public Library for a special story-time; get your photo snapped in the Thank You Ocean photo booth; and more!
Tickets: This event is free with Academy admission.

 

Author Talk: Artist and Writer Josie Iselin
An Ocean Garden: The Secret Life of Seaweed
Monday, March 24 at 7:00 pm | Book Passage in Corte Madera
Author/photographer Josie Iselin’s latest work, An Ocean Garden: The Secret Life of Seaweed, celebrates the unexpected beauty of seaweed, an often overlooked but fundamental aspect of ocean life—and one that is often overharvested. Produced on a flatbed scanner, Iselin’s vibrant portraits reveal the exquisite color and extraordinary forms of more than 200 specimens gathered from tidal pools along the California and Maine coasts, as well as material from the California Academy of Sciences’ Invertebrate Zoology and Geology Collections.
Tickets: This free program takes place at Book Passage, 51 Tamal Vista Blvd., Corte Madera, CA 94925.

 

Special Lecture: David Liittschwager, National Geographic Photographer
A World in One Cubic Foot: Portraits of Biodiversity
Tuesday, March 25 at 7:00 pm | Tusher African Hall

Award-winning photographer David Liittschwager travels to habitats across the planet to document the riotous and interconnected life contained in one cubic foot. In each location, Liittschwager first sets down a metal cube—then, working with local scientists, he photographs all the life that moves through the cube over the course of 24 hours, creating individual portraits of the animals and plant life visible to the naked eye. From the tropical waters off Moorea, French Polynesia to the waters right under our own Golden Gate Bridge, Liittschwager—also a judge for the Academy’s international BigPicture photography competition—captures the stunning diversity of life on Earth. Book signing to follow. In partnership with the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy.
Tickets: Adults $12; Seniors $10; free for members. Seating is limited and advanced ticketing is required. Tickets can be purchased online or by calling (877) 227-1831.

 

BioBlitz: Golden Gate National Parks
Friday and Saturday, March 28 & 29 | Crissy Field

A BioBlitz involves teams of volunteer scientists, families, students, teachers, and other community members working together to find and identify as many species of plants, animals, microbes, fungi, and other organisms as possible—work that helps to document our own local ecology and the diversity and food webs it supports. This year, the Academy is pleased to be partnering with the National Park Service, Parks Conservancy, and National Geographic on a special BioBlitz effort in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, which includes a biodiversity festival at Crissy Field. Sign up or learn more here. 

 

Eye-Opening Science: The Changing Oceans (3-part series)
California’s Changing Oceans
Saturday, March 29 from 9:00–11:00 am | Boardroom
Speakers: Dr. David Lindberg, Professor of Integrative Biology, UC Berkeley; Dr. John Pearse, Professor Emeritus, UC Santa Cruz; Dr. Peter Roopnarine, Curator, California Academy of Sciences

Throughout evolutionary history, California’s oceans have undergone tremendous changes in temperature and in the biotas—and food webs—they support. With the increasing density of human populations, other changes have been occurring that impact the dynamics of our local ecosystems. What changes have we seen historically? What are the biggest changes brought about by humans? What can Californians do to limit the human-caused changes we are witnessing? Moderated by Dr. Terry Gosliner, Dean of Science and Research Collections, California Academy of Sciences.
Tickets: Adults $35; Members and Seniors $25. Series tickets: Adults $90; Members and Seniors $70. Coffee, tea, and pastries provided. Ticket does not include museum admission. Please enter through the business entrance at 75 Nancy Pelosi Drive.

 

Conservation Photography Class and Excursion
Whale Watching in the Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary
Day 1: Saturday, March 29, 1:00–4:00 pm | Boardroom
Day 2: Sunday, March 30, 8:00 am–12:00 pm | Boat departs from Half Moon Bay
Presenters: Gary Sharlow, Photographer & Education Manager, California Academy of Sciences, and Isidore Szczepaniak, Marine Biologist, Oceanic Society

The annual gray whale migration is one of the world’s most magnificent and accessible wildlife spectacles. Each spring, thousands of gray whales migrate from their breeding and calving waters off Baja, California to their summer feeding grounds off the Alaskan coast. Their migration pathway closely follows the California coastline, providing outstanding opportunities for coastal whale watching and photography as pods pass through the Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary.
Tickets: Members $150; General $175. Participants must be 18+ unless chaperoned by a parent or guardian; no children under 12. Seating is limited and advanced ticketing is required. Tickets can be purchased online or by calling (877) 227-1831.